PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A young man who dedicated his life to ending violence was shot and killed over the weekend in Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood.
Those who knew 20-year-old Nasir Stewart are calling his death heartbreaking and exactly what he was advocating against.READ MORE: Man Gets Up To 20 Years In Father's Murder
Stewart was an anti-violence ambassador in Pittsburgh and nationally. The Pittsburgh Allderdice High School graduate’s father and grandmother were both murdered, and he was determined to save himself and his family.
“We just found him to be a nice, articulate, intelligent young man. His teacher and principal thought the world of him as well,” said Allegheny County Family Court Judge Dwayne Woodruff.
Stewart was an infant when his dad was murdered. He and his siblings were raised by a single mother.
In 2015, he won top honors in a challenge representing students from more than 40 schools in Pittsburgh. The students wrote about ways to end violence.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming?
In his heartfelt essay, Stewart wrote about how the pain of his youth motivated him for good. He credited his single mom, who he vowed to move away from the violence.
Woodruff served as chair of the “Do The Write Thing Campaign.”
“To hear about what happened to him, particularly after he wrote such an essay the way that he did, to find out that he passed away due to violence is not just ironic, but it’s sad. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family,” Woodruff said.
Stewart’s writings and life’s lessons also earned him a national spotlight and chance to present his views on youth violence to the secretary of education, members of Congress and attorney general.
He wrote about discouraging a street life of drugs and crime, saying he used not having a father as a reason to get “stronger and smarter.”
He also offered this advice in the last line of his essay: “We need to love God, love ourselves and respect others to make the world a better place and to make it a step closer to heaven than hell.”MORE NEWS: 4-Vehicle Crash Shuts Down Route 28 Southbound
There are so far no suspects in his killing. Stewart leaves behind a 1-year-old son to carry on his legacy of light.